tv PBS News Hour PBS December 18, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
>> ifill: one lawmaker's change of heart: virginia senator mark warner, an n.r.a. supporter, now says "enough is enough." year from gun violence, if we can cut that number in half, if we can cut that number by 20%, if we can cut that number by 10%, we save thousands of lives. >> woodruff: plus, neighbors and friends in newtown are searching for a way to turn the horror of friday's killings into something positive for their community. hari sreenivasan has our conversation. >> ifill: kira kay reports on an election to watch in india, where the leading candidate for chief minister of one state, narendra modi, is both loved and loathed. >> for all of modi's popularity, he is also one of the most polarizing figures in india today, despised by many for a period of vicious communal violence that happened on his watch.
>> woodruff: jeffrey brown remembers the life of war hero and medal of honor winner daniel inouye, the senator from hawaii who was third in line to the presidency. >> ifill: and we close with the story of a message of hope and healing from the late fred rogers, in a 34-year-old photo that's gone viral. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the white house had a new proposal on the table today in the fiscal cliff negotiations. house republicans said it fell well short, but the two sides kept at it, hoping to avert across-the-board tax hikes and steep mandatory spending cuts in 2013. >> we're moving closer. let me say that. it looks more encouraging today than it did yesterday. >> woodruff: there were some voices today like california republican congressman wally herger who saw signs of a deal
in the works. president obama offered monday to lower his target for new revenue to $1.2 trillion over ten years. down $400 billion from his first offer. he also raised the threshold for higher tax rates to households making $400,000 a year. instead of $250,000. and he proposed spending cuts of $1.2 trillion from health programs and cost of living hikes for social security. white house press secretary jay carney. >> in the details that have come out about the president's proposal, i think it is clear that he has demonstrated good faith and a willingness to meet speaker boehner and the republicans halfway. >> woodruff: but republicans dispute the president's numbers. they contend the plan would raise $1.3 trillion in revenue accounting for a new inflation
index. they also insist savings from lower payments on the debt should not be tallied as spending cuts. this was house speaker john boehner after meeting with his caucus members. >> the white house offered yesterday was essentially a $1.3 trillion in new revenues for only $850 billion in net spending reductions. that's not balanced in my opinion. >> woodruff: boehner said he's ready to put a back-up plan before the house. it sets the threshold for raising tax rates much higher than the president wants. >> our plan-b would protect american tax payers who make $1 million or less and have all of their current rates extended. i continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the white house that would reduce spending as well as have revenues on the table.
>> woodruff: but the plan appeared to be doomed in the democratic-controlled senate when the majority leader accused republicans of threatening to abandon negotiations. >> plan-b, as i understand it, plan-b calls for sending out a bill that the only thing that will be in it is raising taxes on people who make over $1 million. if that's walking away, i don't know what walking away is. >> woodruff: indeed, boehner also faces the challenge of selling an agreement to members of his own party, resistant to tax hikes of any kind. after today's party caucus, arizona congressman jeff flake, about to move to the senate, said he is withholding judgment until he sees more specifics. >> we've got to have more cuts than the president is proposing or that's been discussed here. >> woodruff: but retiring ohio congressman steve la tourette predicted that in the end most could live with higher tax rates if they are part of a broader
package. >> if i had to say where most of the votes are today, most will accept an increase in tax rates but they really want a way forward on how we're going to get the rest of the government under control. >> woodruff: but the only real certainty appeared to be that lawmakers will be back in washington right after christmas if there's to be any deal before the new year's deadline. and to two reporters who've been closely watching this story. todd zwillich covers congress for public radio international's "the takeaway" on wnyc. and carol lee of the "wall street journal" joins us from the white house. thank you both for talking to us. carol, i'm going to start with you. from the white house perspective, where do things stand? >> i think from the white house perspective, the ball is essentially in the house john boehner's court. i think the president and his team of advisors feel that they've positioned him fairly well, that he's in a very defense i believe position in terms of his latest offer, that he forward yesterday.
to the speaker. but if you step back and think about where we were four days ago versus where we are now, it's pretty remarkable how much the two sides have come to very close to reaching an actual deal. now the two sides are in this position where the job is to sell it to their different caucuses and make sure that the seams don't come unraveled in the coming days. once speaker boehner on friday decided he would retreat on republican opposition to raising tax rates, it became a matter of what you dial up and what you dial down as opposed to this philosophical debate we've been seeing since the election. now that's what they're doing. the staff is meeting and deciding how much goes up in spending cuts. where does that from? they're deciding on how much revenue the package should have and where the threshold is for income in terms of raising tax rates. >> woodruff: todd zwillich from the speaker boehner side of all of this, how does it work? >> well, speaker boehner's staff
and rep cons in congress despite some of the bluster today in congress are actually still feeling okay about the talks between the speaker and the president. in reality they're actually pretty close. they're having a counting dispute over whether this thing counts as a tax increase or whether interest actually counts, saving on interest counts as real savings. they're having a math dispute but really in the end, judy, they're really only $40-$50 billion apart. over ten years in relation to g.d.p. that's not much. >> woodruff: only $40 or $50 billion in the scheme of things. >> which is a gigantic number of course but in washington it's really not that much over ten years. they're very close right now. there are some disputes, as carol said, on dialing things up and dialing things down. what you're seeing in congress though is a different game. i think it's important for people to realize that right now we're on a two-track kind of inside game/outside game scenario. the speaker and the president are actually quite close. they're on substance and they're not speaking past each other anymore.
they're actually talking about numbers on the same page. meanwhile in congress, speaker boehner and harry reid are both setting up fall-back scenarios, ways to give political cover to their own side and make sure the other side gets blamed if those inside talks fall apart or if speaker boehner can't sell it to his people after a deal is made. >> woodruff: carol, how does the white house view this other track that todd is describing? do they see that as something necessary that the speaker needs to do or do they see it as a problem. >> they dismiss it and say it's not a nonstarter which it is. the speaker has two problems with it one, democrats won't vote for it. two, there are members of his own party who aren't going to vote to raise tax rates under any circumstances but particularly if you're not going to get anything for it, meaning this plan... if they pass this plan, the plan-b, there wouldn't be any spending cuts attached to it. you'll remember the white house has its own plan-b on its own
separate track. the president has just been talking about it a lot longer. that's the senate bill where they passed... they extended the bush tax rates for under $250,000. people making under $250,000. and the president has been saying since the election that the house could easily take care of part of this fiscal problem by immediately passing that bill. so both sides have this, as todd mentioned, these back-up plans that are more tactical maneuvers. they're designed to keep their parties in line and give them a fallback position and give them cover politically if one side backs out. >> woodruff: you're saying that the real talks are really continuing. i saw a tweet today from an associate, a former aid to eric cantor who of course is a close associate, the majority leader in the house, saying republicans only have a third of the power, conservatives do. they need to get on board with the most conservative deal possible rather than waiting for utopian purity, saying let's be
practical. >> the very nature of john boehner's dilemma not just now but since 2010, the at a-party election, we said this all along with the cantor-biden talks, the super committee, simpson bowls, is there a deal that speaker boehner can make with this president that he can shake hands on, that he can also sell to this decidedly conservative republican house? is there? that remains to be seen. that is the very nature of speaker boehner's dilemma. that operative in those tweets which we all saw go to the very heart. that operative is telling conservatives the best way to get things done is not to have your druthers, not to have your greatest scenario but get the very best conservative deal you can, given the fact that president obama just won the election and actually ran on these tax increases. the public has spoken. that does mean something. >> woodruff: carol lee, at the white house, do they think this can get done, whether it's done before christmas but can it be done by the end of the year?
>> they do. someone in the white house said they see over 50%, they put the odds over 50% that they can get a deal done. it's very delicate. they're having to... their main concern right now is having to keep democrats in line as the president concedes on some of these entitlement programs like social security and medicare cuts. so that's what you see them working on doing today behind the scenes. >> woodruff: todd, from the speaker's perspective, what does he need to get? >> well, he's going to have a tax increase. that is inevitable. you've seen him saying he will accept a millionaires' tax. that's a pretty far place from where he was just a couple of months ago. he needs to take the reality of a tax increase, get that threshold number, whether it's $400,000 or $500,000. get that as high as possible and then get spending cuts as high as possible through changes to social security and other things they've been talking about to convince his conservative members, yes, this goes against our very core philosophy but
we're getting something big for it, not just now but any like deal we're liking at like ramifications for tax reform. we'll get a lot of debt reduction. this is the very best we're going to get. that's his charge. >> woodruff: they're not there yet but they're working on it. todd zwillich, carol lee, thank you both. >> thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, back to school, as the funerals continue; an about- face from a virginia senator; a small town united; a candidate to watch in india; hawaii's senator daniel inouye; and a caring message gone viral. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: optimism about a deficit deal in washington fueled a rally on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average gained 115 points to close just short of 13,351. the nasdaq rose almost 44 points to close at 3054. in egypt, another mass protest swarmed through cairo today.
thousands demonstrated in the streets around tahrir square, and outside the presidential palace. they charged a draft constitution would curb basic rights and cement islamist control of the country. the draft won 56% of the vote in last week's first-round voting. the final round is slated for saturday. there were new clashes at a palestinian refugee camp in the syrian capital, damascus. syrian warplanes bombed the camp for the second time this week, trying to push back a rebel offensive. amateur video purported to show rebel fighters in the streets of the yarmouk camp. the rebel action began friday in an effort to drive out a pro- government palestinian faction. the chief foreign correspondent for nbc news, richard engel, has escaped from kidnappers in northern syria. he and his crew said they were dragged from their car on thursday by gunman supporting the assad regime. they escaped last night when their captors became engaged in a firefight with rebel forces. engel spoke in turkey today, flanked by two of his crew.
we're very happy to be out. we're very happy to be back in turkey. we love being here. we love this country. we appreciate all the help. the last five days are days that we would rather forget. if you can understand, we just came out now. we haven't even left yet. we're very tired. >> holman: engel said he and his colleagues were kept bound and blindfolded, and subjected to mock executions. it was unclear whether all of the crew members escaped. five people working with a u.n. polio vaccination campaign in pakistan were shot to death today, possibly as part of a taliban campaign. a sixth worker was killed a day earlier. we have a report narrated by lindsey hilsum of independent television news. >> reporter: they were trying to prevent pakistani children from being crippled by polio. their reward was death. >> the taliban say this polio
campaign was planned by the americans trying to finish off our nation. they say they're in charge here. this is a no-go area. the health workers were warned by the police not to talk with anyone, just quietly to do their job but they shot my daughter in the head. >> reporter: four health workers were killed in karachi today in three separate incidents. coordinated attacks on the polio eradication campaign also took the life of a 17-year-old volunteer. the taliban say polio vaccination is an infidel plot. as part of their surveillance of the compound where osama bin laden was hiding, last year the c.i.a. staged a fake vaccination campaign. they employed a local doctor as a ploy to reach bin laden's children, get his d.n.a., and verify it was really him. (crying) the pakistani government has halted this week's polio campaign. children who will now go
unprotected will be the victims. alongside the health workers murdered today. >> holman: pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic. toyota will pay a record u.s. fine of $17.4 million for failing to report auto defects quickly and delaying a recall. it's the company's fourth safety-related fine in the past two years. this one involved floor mats that could hold down the gas pedal in some 2010 lexus models. toyota did not admit to any legal violations. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: the community continues to mourn its losses in connecticut, resume some routine and consider its own role in a national conversation on what steps should now be taken. ray suarez begins our coverage with this report. >> suarez: a hearse arrived this morning at saint rose of lima catholic church in newtown carrying the body of
six-year-old james mattioli, one of the slain first graders from sandy hook elementary school. hours later, a church bell tolled as mourners greeted another small white casket at the funeral for jessica rekos, also six. (bell tolling). meanwhile, students from other local schools returned to class. in buses adorned with ribbons bearing sandy hook's colors, police were on hand as were counselors. >> making the kids safe and happy. that's all we're here for. is to make sure that they are safe and happy. >> suarez: sandy hook itself remains closed. plans call for its students to be sent to a now vacant school in nearby monroe, but it was unclear when. back in washington, a string of democratic members of congress took to the house floor calling for new gun legislation. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we need to pass bold, necessary,
overdue gun control legislation. if we do not, this will happen again. >> 20 innocents and their six teachers. more tears. more burials. but will we heed its meaning? will we break the gun lobby's spell? >> suarez: outside the capital, the head of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence said sandy hook has altered the political equation on guns. >> they say friday's horrific mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school changed everything. and it has. it is a tipping point. >> suarez: and white house spokesman jay carney announced president obama will back a push for new legislation. >> he is actively supportive of, for example, senator feinstein's stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban. he supports and would support
legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole. >> reporter: late today the national rifle association offered its first statement on the killing, saying it was shocked, saddened and heart broken. the group called a friday news conference and promised meaningful contributions to prevent any future massacres. we interviewed senator dianne feinstein last night about her push to renew the assault weapons ban. now, we hear another perspective. virginia senator mark warner is a democrat who received an "a" rating from the national rifle association. welcome. we heard that yesterday after the shootings in newtown, you said that this was a game-changer. what do you mean by that? >> well, gwen, i'm a strong second amendment rights supporter. i own firearms. on my farm i've actually got shooting range. but friday afternoon my daughters, who had all come home from college said, "dad, you
know, how did this happen? and what are you going to do about it?" just as a father, the horror of what happened in connecticut coming on the heels of tragedies at virginia tech years before, the tragedy in colorado and it seems like about every six or nine months one of these incidents happening in america makes me say, you know, enough is enough. there's got to be a rational way to sort through this. i'm not saying i've got a perfect piece of legislation. i don't think there is a single perfect piece of legislation. but in a country where we got 30,000 gun deaths a year, there's got to be a way that we can do a bit more. i hope that responsible gun owners around america will join in this conversation as well. i think we have to recognize that it is about rational appropriate gun rules but also about mental health issues.
my hope is our country takes a deep breath and doesn't just simply get exercised by this for a few moments and then push this horrible tragedy back into the background and forget about it. >> ifill: assuming that there is is not one single solution here, let's talk about what you mean when you say rational gun control. senator feinstein says an assault weapons ban would be rational. would you agree with that? >> i think that from the evidence i've seen that a lot of the challenge comes around the speed by which you can shoot... in effect, you can shoot these multiple magazines in terms of how rapidly they can be discharged. now there's a whole series of different negotiations about what qualifies an assault weapon and what doesn't. i think there will be time for that kind of conversation. we've got to find a way to sort through to where there is an ability for law-abiding citizens still to possess firearms.
nobody is going to take away your shotgun. but to make sure that these kinds of weapons that in many cases were developed for our military and have become extraordinarily lethally effective killing machines for our military are now in the hands of people that are just not appropriate. >> ifill: the governor of your home state of virginia has said that he thinks that maybe you should consider arming teachers in classrooms. the governor of michigan who is another republican decided to veto a conceal carry law in michigan. which of these is is the right approach. >> quite honestly i'm not sure either of those are the right approach. i think what we need is to be able to have a conversation, be able to have a debate about this. but i'm not sure the notion that, as i've heard some members of congress say, that if each teacher had been armed that somehow this would have prevented a tragedy. i believe that we need to look
at mental health issues. i think we need a reexamination of some of our gun restrictions. and my hope is that this does not break down on kind of a red shirt/blue shirt, democrat/republican kind of issue. >> ifill: you mentioned the n.r.a. they put out a statement saying that the national rifle association of america is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters, and that they are planning a news conference to talk about that but they are prepared to make what they describe as meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. what would you like to hear the n.r.a., you're a member of the n.r.a., you're supported by the n.r.a. what would you like to hear them contribute as a meaningful conversation. >> one of the instruments that are being used. are are there guns that were developed by the military as technology has advanced and has allowed our soldiers to become better, more effective in iraq and afghanistan.
all of those weapons, should they be able to be slightly modified and then sold on a commercial market? what kind of... how much restraint does it put on a lawful target shooter if they want to have to change out a clip after every ten shells or ten or 15 shells? i'm not sure what the right number should be here but i think the n.r.a. ought to have a voice in this conversation as well. i think they can go ahead again, reassure that nobody is is going to be out trying to say we need to take away your shotgun or take away the kind of components that are part of american culture in terms of the right to hunt, the right to enjoy the outdoors with firearms, but i do think that simply saying that the status co- is acceptable and bemoaning another tragedy six or nine months from now without any real close examination of seeing
what laws and rules and regulations need to be changed would be a real mistake and would not do... would not be the appropriate honoring the legacy of those poor kids whose lives were taken. quite honestly, i have to give my three daughters a better answer than i gave them on friday night. i've got to be able to say, you know, i was part of trying to at least get some level of solution so this kind of tragedy doesn't happen again. >> ifill: senator mark warner of virginia, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, gwen. >> woodruff: tomorrow night, we'll talk with connecticut's senator, joe lieberman. next, we go back to newtown. within days, neighbors and friends began telphoning one another, and then gathering to make sense of the violence. hari sreenivasan reports on the beginnings of a group called "newtown united." >> in a meeting at the newtown lie rather more than three dozen citizens gathered last night not
just to grieve but to figure out what's next for their community. afterwards we sat down with few of them for an extended conversation. tom bitman is a technology consultant. and this woman a mother of four. scott wolman owns a speakers bureau and james runs an environmental nonprofit. so james let me start with you. what was the impetus for this conversation tonight? >> i think a lot of us were feeling the same thing that we were impacted by this event not as much as some people. but that we felt helpless. we needed an avenue to discuss how we felt about what was going on. >> 20 households lost first graders. 20. those families are shattered. they can't do anything. i feel a bit of a responsibility for others in our community to help, to do something. >> i came because adam lanza and nancy lanza lived 100 yards from my home. and i was shocked and dismayed
when i found out that they owned six guns. many of them being assault weapons that, you know, created havoc in our community. >> it's extraordinarily vile to take an assault rifle and kill 20 children. it strikes so deeply with all of us. looking back at columbine, looking back at virginia tech and all these spree killings that are happening in our country at alarming rates. >> my family came tragically close to being one of those families. my niece was only saved by her teacher kicking the door shot and being shot in her foot. >> when we tell people we're from newtown, people will say, "i'm sorry to hear that." what i want people to say is, "i'm sorry for the pain you experienced, but also but i'm so proud of what you did with that experience." >> sreenivasan: several of you said this is an opportunity for us and we have to take advantage of this moment. what does that mean?
>> i feel the politicians have failed to protect our children. they cannot continue to do this to our children. they need to really pass legislation that is going to have a meaningful impact to prevent further tragedy. >> almost every issue is so polarized, it's difficult to see a middle ground from the fiscal cliff to immigration to gun control. but the fact is this event yas so heinous in its nature that there is now a willingness for middle ground. >> the time is not in the next few weeks. it is now. originally i was thinking we should grieve first. we are grieving. we're going to go home and we're going to grieve some more. but now is the time where we can do the most. we have to do it now. >> this catastrophe happened in our town. this is an opportunity for us to do something really good from a very tragic event that happened. this is a watershed moment for meaningful change. i think that we could do
something big. i want to be defining our town by that not by the tragic event that happened. >> we've seen this happen too many times. you can run down the list of the places. haven't we learned from that? did we really have to lose 20 more children and seven more adults? i mean, enough. stop. come on. what else do we need? are we going to continue to let an industry control killing? that's not the town, the country that i want to live in. >> do you think that it is possible for you to actually take action and create change where history unfortunately shows us that while people really care right now and while
people are willing to have this conversation and hear you out, that it very rarely translates into political action and actual legislation that passes and changes the public opinion of gun ownership? >> if we can ban super sized soda in new york city, i think we can do this. >> i do have a cynicism in me that says, you know, if we lose momentum we're going to be footnoted to the next horrible tragedy that unfolds. a month from now, two months from now. i hate that feeling. it's really cynical and a horrible thing to think. but it seems like that's sort of been the pattern over the last several years. >> i support responsible gun ownership. i've gone to firing ranges. i've fired guns. i don't own a gun. i would be happy to listen to responsible gun owners as well. i don't support banning all guns. just weapons that can just keech shooting and shooting and shooting. >> and i feel the same way. i grew up learning to shoot with
my father. it's one of the few things we did together. >> the fact is we need to start enforcing laws we have. we need to make stronger laws. particularly regarding these high-powered weapons. that are brutally efficient at killing people. because there's no need for civilians to have those. i don't think we need to ban guns. i think we need to find the right balance. it may not just be the guns. it might also be the ammunition. the fact that this boy was able to shoot more than 100 rounds in a short amount of time, something is wrong. why is is there that much ammunition out there? maybe we need to do more in terms of legislation in terms of tracking, in terms of what's happening in this household? there's a lot of ammo being sold to this household. >> sreenivasan: in the past couple of days, you've heard a couple sort of tan gential arguments saying if that principal had a weapon. you knew her. >> there is some basis for that argument. i can understand somebody who wants to rob a store will less
likely go in and rob that store because he wants something. if he's going to meet force when he gets there, most of these guys are going out in a blaze of glory. somebody else having a gun may kill him quicker and limit the damage. but you're not going to have schools and gun s. if there was a weapon in schools it would have to be locked. would she have time to get that weapon? i certainly hope people wouldn't be suggesting that she would carry the weapon. >> we want trained teachers, trained administrators, do they have to have marksman on their resume? i wouldn't be against having security guards but think about the cost. we're struggling to fund our schools today. >> i just want to make a point about guns fighting guns. i don't think that worked out very well for nancy lanza. she owned six guns. she's not with us. period. >> there are other communities
looking to you for leadership and inspiration. how do you do this? >> i don't know all the rules and regulations about gun control. i'm learnings it now. but if we can do something locally to ban assault weapons i'm all for it. let's go. let's do it. let's share that with other communities around us. let them do it and let it spread across the country if nationally they're not going to do something about it. >> if we can get a good national discussion going, if nothing else, and keep it going and get to a resolution, then we win. >> newtown is... of course, america is about being able to change things no matter who you are. of course, we do find ourselves in newtown in the fortunate place right now of being perhaps in a position to have a little more of a voice than we did on thursday. >> and i feel, you know, you say what if nothing comes of this?
well, my mother always told me if you don't try, nothing will happen. so at least we're going to try. you know, we're shooting for this kind of change. if it comes to here at least it's not here. it's something. >> woodruff: there hassles been speculation about the mental >> woodruff: there has been speculation about the mental health of adam lanza. but experts and parents of children with a mental illness, or a disorder like asperger's, warn that kind of talk is premature. learn more about the discussion online. >> ifill: next, an election to watch in india, a longtime u.s. ally, an economic powerhouse and the world's largest democracy. special correspondent kira kay has the story of a politician, with a questionable past, who many believe will become the country's next prime minister in 2014.
it's election season in the india state of gujarat and modi is running for a fourth term. to these party faithful and many more indians modi is a leader of integrity and skill. many see in him a future prime minister. around the city, you can see modi's pursuit of a so-called vibrant gujarat with an emphasis on foreign investment and development of public infrastructure. there is a new i.t. hub under construction on the outskirts and a major manufacturing park including a ford motor plant just breaking ground. >> people have more money. there's more business. the spending power that people have increased tremendously. >> reporter: this man's show room is booming. he credits gujarat's success to mooedy's efforts like a vibrant education sector, a new rapid transit bus system that is unclogging polluted city roads. >> all these things are there on the ground for 20, 30 years but
what he did did work. >> reporter: on the streets, gujarat's from lawyers to plumbers mooedy is a hero. >> he's given us water, roads, everything. that's why people love him. he does what he says. also there are no allegations of corruption against mooedy. >> reporter: but for all of modi's popularity he is also one of the most polarizing figures in india today. despised by many for for a period of vicious communal violence that happened on his watch. it was in early 2002 in muslim neighborhoods all across gujarat that mobs of thousands of hindus exacted revenge on muslims for the burning deaths of 58 hindu pilgrims in a train car the day before. this woman and her family saw the mobs torching their mosque and tried to flee. >> they threw petrol on the group and lit it on fire. my brother's head was severed with a sword. my two month old nephew was
burned in the fire. they also burned my mother alive. >> reporter: the national army was sent in but only after the worst violence was over. more than a thousand people, mostly muslims, were dead. thousands more were displaced. this person is a lawyer working on behalf of the victims. >> muslims thought this kind of violence was not possible without help from the government. that the day would come when muslims would not be able to live here anymore. >> reporter: while india is a hindu majority country, it contains the world's largest muslim minority. 177 million people. there has been a history of communal violence here which has been exploited for political purposes says the imam of the town's central mosque. >> there are many ways of stopping the violence. programs to promote communal unity can be created. the problem is that if you make this your agenda, then you will not get elected. >> reporter: it was in this climate that narendra modi emerged on the political scene embracing religious ideology and
rising through the ranks of a political party founded on hindu nationalism. this religious orientation resonates, says social scientist. >> hindu middle class is pretty powerful. they wanted a meaningful identity. and hindu tradition gives them that great identity. >> reporter: that identity was exploited in the immediate after math of the 2002 train burning. by hindu groups aligned with modi's political party says this human rights lawyer. >> they know that one of the most important points for the hindus would be to see the manor in which the dead bodies. they paraded the dead bodies. they held a funeral march. they had about 50,000 people. >> reporter: modi's government has maintained that the ryate ons that followed were spontaneous and not premeditated by the state. but this man says modi's party seized the opportunity in
elections held a few months later. >> there was a political goal. no doubt about that. in order to unite hindus, you have to create an enemy. you have to create the other, quote unquote. who is better than the muslim? after the carnage they won. >> reporter: the lawyer took up the cases of the riot victims but had trouble getting them investigated by local authorities. one case suggested fuel taken from a police vehicle was used to burn victims. >> there is evidence, and there were eyewitnesses but the case was closed. i had to move the high court. >> activists that were working on these cases started receiving threatening phone calls. it became more and more clear that witnesses were not feeling secure. >> reporter: this person is with human rights watch. she says india's supreme court finally had to create an independent investigative body and special court process to try the resulting cases.
victims like this person finally had their day in court. >> i got a lot of threats to keep me from speaking out. they offered me money not to name names but i didn't listen to them. i wanted justice for all the people i had lost. >> reporter: in the last two years there have been 150 convictions. including this person who in 2002 was a parliamentarian for modi's party and since the violence was made a minister in his government. >> where exactly the violence had taken place. >> reporter: he spent more than a year crunching phone records that were used to convict people. he says they also show calls to modi's office but without eyewitnesses to corroborate them they won't become evidence. even without criminal liability, the buck stops with modi. >> we know for a fact that police protect. we know under his administration, the rule of law collapsed. we also know that he has never
found it in himself to express any kind of sadness for the fact that so many people lost their lives. >> reporter: but still some muslims in gujarat have chosen to reengage. the businessman is muslim. his family and business suffered in 2002, and he filed a human rights case against modi but had a change of heart. >> 7.5 million muslims. muslims cannot remain in isolation with their administration. we need to sit down and talk. >> reporter: he began a collaboration with modi. >> the muslim schools, hospita hospitals, muslims in jail. >> reporter: but the feeling is different in ghettos where muslims displaced by the violence still live in temporary housing in the shadow of a garbage dump. >> he's making vibrant gujarat but there is no school here, no hospitals. the roads are bad. >> you may have seen progress in
certain areas in the city, in the hindu area. we get no aid from the modi government. he says we're living well here. does it look like we live well here? >> something of india today, you can see modi has many good qualities like he is supposed to be a very good administrator but his state runs very efficiently. those are good things. if, on the other hand, he's a leader that creates communal hate, that fails to protect a certain community, that will be unfortunate for an india that wants to be recognized and be given the place in the world as an emerging power. >> reporter: modi was denied a visa to the united states in 2005 due to religious freedom concerns. 25 members of the u.s. congress are now urging sent of state clinton to keep the ban in place. narendra modi will not need the votes of muslim citizens to win this week. but his future on india's stage with national elections coming in 2014 remains in question.
as the specter of the 2002 violence continues to follow him. >> ifill: election results will b >> ifill: election results will be announced on thursday. kira's story is part of a series, "fault lines of faith," produced in partnership with the bureau for international reporting. online, you can also find the latest report from the pew forum on religion and public life, showing the religious makeup of the world by country and region. >> woodruff: the late senator daniel inouye was remembered today for his heroism in war, soft-spoken dignity in office and decades of service. the hawaii democrat died monday. jeffrey brown has this look back at his life. mr. president... >> daniel inouye's desk sat empty today, save for a bouquet of white roses and black shroud. in his office, colleagues, friends and admirers filled a
book of condolences. nearing his 50th year in the upper chamber, he had represented the state of hawaii in congress from the moment it was admitted to the union in 1959. >> our friend dan inouye just died. >> brown: his passing was announced last night to a stunned senate chamber by majority leader harry reid. >> the service in the senate will be... >> an iconic political figure of his beloved hawaii and the only original member of a congressional delegation still serving in congress. >> brown: this afternoon inowe way's deputy chief of staff recalled the senator. >> with all due respect to the president of the united states, inowe way is hawaii's greatest statesman. he always saw things three steps ahead. >> brown: he was born in honolulu in 1924 to immigrant parents. on december 7, 1941, he rushed
to help the wounded at pearl harbor. long years later he recalled the u.s. government's war-time decision to declare his family and other japannese americans enemy aliens. >> i put on the uniform to show where my heart stood. but we were denied. so we petitioned the government and a year later they said, okay, if you wish to volunteer go ahead. >> announcer: 442nd combat team composed of american citizens of japannese and southwest removes up to rescue the lost battalion of world war ii. >> brown: in april 1945, 20-year-old lieutenant inowe way led an assault on machine guns in italy. he destroyed all three after being shot in the stomach and having his right arm nearly severed. it was later amputated. he was awarded the distinguished service cross but it was elevated to the medal of honor.
his death live the michigan congressman as one of the two remaining world war ii veterans in congress. >> he worked to make the congress effective as a tool in serving the broad public interest both for hawaii and for the rest of the country. he believed in legislating, legislating well. he knew that working together and accepting the responsibilities that we get when we are sworn in and when weary lected was an extremely important part of his responsibility as senator. >> brown: after the war, he turned to politics. he won a seat in the u.s. house in 1959 and was elected senator in 1962. six years later as keynote speaker he lent a steady voice of reason to the riotous proceedings of the 1968 democratic convention in chicago. >> this is our country.
and we are engaged in a time of great testing. >> brown: he became known for consensus building as the behind-the-scenes voice of quiet conscience. he gained national attention on the senate watergate committee in 1973. and more than a decade later, he led another page senate investigation. in that role he appeared on the newshour in june 1987 with new hampshire republican warren rudman, discussing illegal u.s. arm sales to iran that funded nicaragua's contra rebels. >> it shows what the government of the united states was going through during this period: deception for one thing. nondisclosure to the congress of the united states. keeping information from the people of the united states. and i think it's an unfortunate chapter but it had to be opened. >> brown: he ultimately became the second longest-serving senator ever. as president protem of the
senate he was third in line to succeed the president. >> do you solemnly swear... brown: this morning vermont senator patrick leahy was sworn into that post. daniel he died monday of respiratory complications. he was 88 years old. friends and family said his final word was aloha. >> woodruff: we have more on senator inouye online, including a video clip from the ken burns documentary "the war." >> ifill: finally tonight, words of comfort in a time of tragedy, for kids and adults. and again to ray suarez. >> suarez: on friday as details of the horrific shooting in newtown emerged a group that supports public television posted on facebook this image and these words from the late fred rogers. "when i was a boy and i would see scary things in the news, my
mother would say to me, look for the helpers. you will always find people who are helping. to this day especially in times of disaster, i remember my mother's words and i'm always comforted by realizing there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world." that message has since been shared by tens of thousands of people online. the picture was taken by jim juddkiss who photographed mr. rogers over the years. we're now joined by his daughter who is a writer for the "washington post." did you realize soon after that your father's photo was richochetting around the web? >> i think i noticed it friday evening. at this point it had been shared by many 50,000 people. so i called him. of course he was very honored and grateful that his image was with fred's words to help parents kind of through this difficult time and give them a way to explain something unexplainable to their children. >> suarez: did you realize right off that this was your father's
work. >> i did. i'm a reporter though so i called him to double check but i did realize it was his work. i had known many of his photos of mr. rogers. he photographed him over the course of about 25 years. >> suarez: do you know the story behind that one? it's very touching. >> i do. it was my father's first time that he had met mr. rogers as well. they were on a shoot for people magazine. it was 1978. it was a school for disabled children in pittsburgh which is where mr. rogers' show was filmed. he was waiting in this room. the children came through the door. this one little boy came right up to mr. rogers and he was just so excited. he said, "mr. rogers," that's the way my dad says it. the boy reached up to mr. rogers' face and mr. rogers' knelt down to look at the boy in the eyes. that was the moment. my dad sort of describes that moment as that boy was seeing god and touching god in a way. >> suarez: tactile. i mean people see famous people all the time. sometimes don't know what to do.
here because with the innocence of a child he's got both hands right up there on his face. a great image. fred rogers was caring annal but also credible when he talked about the lives of children especially their inner lives. in 1968 he and his team put together a response to the murder of u.s. senator and presidential candidate robert kennedy. >> i've been terribly concerned about the graphic display of violence which the mass media has been showing recently. and i for your protection and support of your young children. there is just so much that a
very young child can take. without it being overwhelming. >> suarez: could have been run last night. >> that's true. suarez: a very relevant message. you knew fred rogers some. >> i did. i had met him several times as a child. sometimes my dad would bring me to work had. >> suarez: what was your impression? >> he was everything he was on the show. it wasn't an act. it wasn't just for the cameras. the times that i met him were sort of similar to the times that are in this photograph with this boy. every time that mr. rogers would talk to a child or talk to me he would get down so that he was looking at you in the eyes so you were kind of an equal plane. that made a child feel really special. >> suarez: did you realize he wasn't like other adults, that he talked to you in a different way? >> i think he did. you know, there's just something so special about meeting him and knowing him. i know that my siblings felt the same way too in all the times that we got to interact with him as kids.
>> suarez: laura juddkiss of the "washington post" thanks for joining us. >> thank you. ifill: yo >> ifill: you can look more closely at that great photo on our web site, where there's also a link to "pbs parents," where you can find more of mister rogers' videos. >> woodruff: amazing photo. again, the major developments of the day. there were offers and counter- offers on the table, but no deal in the talks to resolve the nation's fiscal crisis. newtown, connecticut, held more funerals for victims of friday's school shootings. and amid talk of new gun legislation, the national rifle association said it would offer "meaningful contributions" to prevent new massacres. online, we ask, what are the three best ways to land a job? kwame holman has the details. >> holman: getting a foot in the door of your dream job is a job in itself. our resident headhunter can guide you through the process. find his advice and ask him your questions on the business desk. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight.
i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
captioning sponsored by wpbt >> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening, everyone. i'm susie gharib. tom is off tonight. the white house knocks down house speaker john boehner's back-up plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. we'll have details on his "plan b." we get an insider's perspective on those talks from roger altman. he was a key adviser in the clinton administration and now, as head of investment firm evercore, he's plugged in to corporate america and wall street. and are apple's hot-selling products cooling off? is the competition winning over even apple's loyal fans? that and more tonight on "n.b.r."